A brief note on the Domestic Violence Act,2005. The rights of victims and the liability of respondents.
Protection of Domestic violence Act was enacted in 2005 to ensure the safety and security of women in shared household. The Act recognises the physical, emotional, sexual, verbal and economic abuse of women in shared households. Even the deprivation of maintenance allowance by the husband constitutes domestic violence. A suit under Domestic violence can be initiated even after divorce.
Remedies available to the aggrieved person;
Monetary relief: The aggrieved person is entitled to monetary relief under section 20 of this act which may also be in addition to the maintenance under section 125 of CRPC.
Right to custody of child: The aggrieved person may claim custody of her child under section 21 of the Domestic Violence Act.
Compensation for mental stress and emotional abuse can also be claimed under section 22 of the Domestic violence Act. It is worthy to note that a husband is not absolved of his liability under this act even after a Divorce decree has been granted.
Right to protection order under section 18 of the DWA: A breach of the protection order under section 18 by the respondent is an offence under section 31 of DWA and shall be punishable with an imprisonment upto 1 year or a fine of Rs. 20,000 or both.
Right to residence order under section 19 of the DWA facilitate the undisturbed residence of the victim in the shared household.
The enactment of Domestic violence Act marks a watershed in history while guaranteeing innocent women who are suffering exploitation and domestic violence in the Indian family structures their basic rights.
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